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Career U.S. intelligence officer explains how the devil engages in ‘spiritual spying’ to steal souls…

Career U.S. intelligence officer explains how the devil engages in ‘spiritual spying’ to steal souls…

June 12, 2023 (Edward J. Barr) – The goal of the demonic is to ruin souls.  Satan’s minions all freely chose to oppose the will of God and their lives are dedicated to undermining man’s salvation.  Understanding how demonic actors seek to destroy mankind can help us craft a solid defense.  In Part I (see Spiritual Spying – How Demons Recruit: Part I – Setting the Stage) we provided an outline of the similarities between human intelligence officers’ (case officers) methodologies to recruit spies and the demonic effort to steal souls. In this article we will focus on the first step used to identify a worthy target: spotting. 

All of God’s children are legitimate targets for the demons. Every son or daughter of the Father will be attacked in one way or another during their lives.  The attacks will frequently become more ferocious the closer you are to God.  In the intelligence community, recruiting a senior official from an adversary’s government is a valued prize.   In fact, if you recruit someone of high stature you will usually be rewarded with a promotion.  The same thing is true in the demonic world. The demons would much prefer to recruit a priest or a bishop rather than the average member of the laity.  While devout and influential members of the laity would also be valued targets, bishops and priests have special charisms and authorities that the demons abhor.  That is one reason why most Catholic theologians believe that priests receive an additional guardian Angel at ordination – they need additional protection.  God provides His officials added security, just as senior governmental officials are provided robust security forces.  

All of us should undertake a special devotion to pray for our priests, bishops, and the Pope.  While everyone is under demonic attack, our Church leaders are uniquely prized targets of the enemy.  However, it is challenging in both the physical and spiritual worlds to run successful operations against an enemy’s senior leaders.  In the material world senior officials are protected not only by physical means but by layers of intelligence, cyber, and bureaucratic barriers.  It is difficult to get close to these targets.  It is far easier to go for “low hanging fruit.”  In the physical world this means recruiting access agents or others who can assist in operational activities yet do not possess any intelligence value by themselves.   The same is not true in the spiritual world.  Each one of us possesses significant value to the demons.  Every soul lost to the Evil One wounds the body of Christ. Yet the fact remains that some people will be more valued by the demons than others.

When a case officer is seeking to spot a good recruitment target, they look at what is called ‘placement and access.’  Is the individual in a certain position of influence where they can support the case officer’s mission, or does he have access to an even more important target and could be used to get to the bigger prize?  An analysis will be done to try to narrow the field since every intelligence agency has limited resources.   All operations have to be justified based on a risk-gain benefit that includes budgetary, logistical, and human resources considerations.  This is not the case with the demons.  It is believed there are far more demons than people, and anyone and everyone who is faithful to God is a legitimate target.  While most of us have never been the target of a foreign intelligence service (alas, some of us have been), all of us have been spotted by the demons.   You cannot escape the eyes of the demonic.  

While it is uncomfortable to consider that the demons are watching us, it is important to realize that we have greater control over the next step in the demonic recruiting cycle – assessment.  Spotting and assessing go together in the HUMINT world, and while we cannot impact the demons’ ability to spot us, we can affect their analysis of our spiritual vulnerabilities during the assessment phase.  We will explore the assessment phase in greater detail in our next article.

Edward J Barr is a career intelligence officer and commercial counterintelligence consultant.  He teaches in a master’s level intelligence studies program at a major US university. Ed earned a Master of Theology degree from the Augustine Institute and offers talks through The Gray Apostle website. He is the author of, The Gray Apostle: Mission of the Messiah. Mr. Barr is a contributing writer for the Roma Locuta Est blog (


Father Chad Ripperger, “Deliverance Prayers for the Laity.”  Also available online thru the St. Michael Center app (see below).

Monsignor Stephen J. Rosetti, St. Michael Center for Spiritual Renewal.  Sign up for monthly deliverance prayer sessions – next one is June 19.

Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, Crusade for Priests

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